Friday, January 20, 2017

Counterprogramming for The Resistance


The Resistance with Keith Olbermann has a simple message for today: Boycott Donald Trump's Inauguration.

Nothing irks Trump more than you not paying attention to him.
I second this emotion.  To assist my readers who agree with Keith and me, I'm posting videos with music that one can watch and listen to instead of watching The Penguin Donald being sworn in as Mayor of Gotham City President of the United States.

First, instead of the Inauguration Parade, watch Marching Bands of the 2017 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

Recap of the 22 marching bands that performed in the 128th Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on Monday, January 2, 2017.
Next, listen to "The President's Own" play "March of the Resistance" from "Star Wars, The Force Awakens."

"The President's Own" United States Marine Band performs John Williams' Suite from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, transcribed by Paul Lavender, on March 14, 2016, at The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Md. Conducted by Lt. Col. Jason K. Fettig.
Finally, instead of listening to the acts in concert, listen to Muse playing "Resistance."


Hoped that helped you ignore the Inauguration.  As Keith says, "Resist.  Peace."

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2016 hottest year globally, second hottest in the U.S.


Every month from January through August (possibly September) this year was the warmest month of the year on record, so it should come as no surprise that CNN reported yesterday 2016: The hottest year on record.

CNN's John Sutter was in Shishmaref, Alaska, to explain how climate change has affected the world this year.
This is the third consecutive year a new average temperature record has been set for the planet.

In addition, Accuweather posted the following infographic.


The hottest year in the U.S.?  2012, followed by 2016, 2005, and 2010.  Four of the last eleven years were the warmest in the nation's history.  Globally, the ten hottest years have all happened since 1998, with nine of them since 2005 and six since 2010.  That's a trend to which I offer the challenge "deny that!"

By the way, it was the warmest year ever in Alaska.  That CNN reported from there is not a coincidence.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sam Wang eats a bug on CNN


Just a few days before the election, Sam Wang tweeted the following statement of confidence in his predictive abilities:


We all know how that turned out.  As for Wang, he was a man of his word and made good on his promise on live television.  CNN showed it as Pollster eats bug after Trump win.

Poll expert Sam Wang said he would eat a bug if Donald Trump got more than 240 electoral votes. President-elect Donald Trump got 290 electoral votes and Wang held up his end of the deal.
His meal wasn't what I suggested...
Eat a mescal worm. They’re already dead, they’re pickled so the are safe and they taste like booze, and they’re an insect, specifically a caterpillar. I’ve eaten them and they’re OK. If you need any help, take a shot of the mescal first.
...but it fits with the recommendation to eat crickets from Entomophagy: Student Sustainability Video Festival 62.  At least it was nutritious and Wang figured out a way to make it tasty while he was eating crow bugs.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

'Rogue One' now highest grossing film released in 2016


I made two promises to my readers in Space, both fictional and real, tops weekend box office to begin 2017 as 'Rogue One' edges out 'Hidden Figures'.  The first, whether "Hidden Figures" ended up winning the weekend's box office I covered in 'Hidden Figures' tops the box office for MLK Day plus diversity among Golden Globes winners.  The second was whether "Rogue One" would become the highest grossing film released in 2016, a prediction I made a month ago in the comments to Reactions to 'Rogue One' from critics and stars and repeated in 'Rogue One' has third-highest opening weekend of year, second highest for December.  That came true over the weekend, as Wochit Entertainment reports in 'Rogue One' Passes 'Finding Dory' At 2016 U.S. Box Office.

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" continued its massive run at the box office in its fifth week in theaters. According to data at Box Office Mojo, the movie earned more than 3.2 million dollars on Friday at the domestic box office. That pushed the standalone film's domestic total over 488 million dollars. Rogue One is now the Number one-grossing movie of all titles that came out in the U.S. in 2016, beating out Finding Dory, which made 486 million dollars at the box office domestically. Both movies opened to critical acclaim this year.
Box Office Mojo now lists the film as grossing $502 million at the domestic box office.  All that's left of my predictions is the final box office number, which I initially set at $600 million and later followed Forbes' lead and revised down to $540 million.  Stay tuned.

Monday, January 16, 2017

'Hidden Figures' tops the box office for MLK Day plus diversity among Golden Globes winners


Happy Martin Luther King Day!  I have good news to report on diversity in entertainment this week, unlike last year when I complained about Hollywood's diversity issues for MLK Day.  First, as I promised in Space, both fictional and real, tops weekend box office to begin 2017 as 'Rogue One' edges out 'Hidden Figures', I would report if 'Hidden Figures' topped the box office.  It turned out that it actually edged out "Rogue One" last week and repeated that achievment this weekend, as Wochit Entertainment reported in 'Hidden Figures' Still At The Top Of The Box Office.

The crowd-pleasing NASA drama "Hidden Figures" has topped the box office for the second straight week, while a pair of high-priced prestige releases sputtered. Estimates on Sunday say "Hidden Figures," a tale about African-American mathematicians in the 1960s space race, sold $20.5 million in tickets in North American theaters over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Fox anticipates it will make $25.3 million when Monday is included. In a crowded field that included the "Star Wars" hit "Rogue One," the Oscar favorite "La La Land" and the surprisingly strong supernatural thriller "The Bye Bye Man," several big-name directors flopped.
So far, the movie has been the "good news" I was hoping for in Seasons Greetings from NASA plus NASA on 'Passengers' and 'Hidden Figures'.  In addition to the nominations I listed in December, it just earned a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTA Awards last week.  Here's to hoping it gets more nominations at the Academy Awards next week.

Speaking of awards shows, I'm not done with the Golden Globes.  Follow over the jump to watch acceptance speeches for "Moonlight," "Fences," "Black-ish," and "Atlanta."

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Good news for animals in entertainment on the first Norther!


Happy Norther!  After teasing my readers twice, it's time to celebrate.  First, I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle the conversation between the Archdruid and me about fake holidays.
I'm single-handedly keeping alive a fake holiday called Wester, which is the first Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Autumnal Equinox.  When I first posted about it, my Discordian friend claimed it for Discordianism.  As far as I'm concerned, it's still a Discordian holiday.
...
Wester is funny; presumably that was the day that some messiah or other descended from the living?
...
>I agree, Wester is funny.  As for an anointed one descending from the living, sorry, that wasn't part of the Wester story that I heard.  However, the holiday has its own animal mascot, the Wester Squirrel, which goes around and gathers goodies to hide instead of hiding goodies to pass out like the Easter Bunny.
...
Druids would likely demand a Souther and a Norther, too, with a Souther Wombat and a Norther Lemming as animal mascots; I'll leave you to decide what if anything they do with goodies.
...
Ah, but which solstice gets which holiday?  At first, I was not amused by your suggestion, as I thought one parody holiday was enough.  Then I slept on it and not only was I OK with it, I decided that Norther would come after the Winter Solstice and Souther would come after the Summer Solstice.  Why would a lemming visit in the middle of summer?  Norther would usually have little competition for holidays, at least in the U.S., most of the time.  Next year, it would fall on January 15th, the day before MLK Day.  Not a bad three-day weekend!
So that's the story of how I'm celebrating a fake holiday that the Archdruid came up with.  Oh, well, the Norther Lemming approves.


As this is also Sunday, it's time for an entertainment update.   I have just the one for a holiday with an animal mascot.  Follow over the jump.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bees added to endangered species list


I've written a lot about bees on this blog beginning with Discovery News and PhysOrg on colony collapse disorder in 2013 and continuing through Space and sustainability news for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  This week, more news came out about bees, but it wasn't about honeybees and colony collapse disorder.  Instead, it was that the Rusty Patched Bumblebee Is Officially Endangered.  Wochit News reports.

This week it has been declared that the rusty patched bumblebee is endangered in the United States. It is the first bee species to ever be put on the endangered list. The rusty patched bumblebee has seen it’s population diminish significantly over the past 20 years. Tom Melius, the regional director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, stated, “Pollinators are small but might parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world. Without them, our forests, parks, meadows, and scrublands, and the abundant, vibrant life they support, cannot survive, and our crops require laborious, costly pollination by hand.” Environmentalists are ready to fight for the lives of rusty patched bumblebees.
While these are both the first bumblebees and mainland bees to be placed on the endangered species list, they aren't the first U.S. bees on the list.  Last September, several species of Hawaiian bees earned that dubious distinction.  KHON reports in Native bee species now protected under Endangered Species Act.

Seven yellow-faced bee species are now under protection, a first for any bees in the nation.
While these are not honeybees, this is still bad news.

Enough DOOM!  Stay tuned for two entertainment entries, one including the first celebration of the fake holiday Norther on Sunday and one celebrating Martin Luther King Day on Monday.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Can you spell triskaidekaphobia for Friday the 13th?


Happy Friday the 13th!  To celebrate today's unlucky day, I'm sharing the Wall Street Journal asking Triskaidekaphobia is Fear of 13, but Can You Spell It?

WSJ's Elva Ramirez takes to the streets of New York to find out how many people know what triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) is - and if they can spell it.
So in Spain, the unlucky day is Tuesday the 13th.  That's not any stranger than Garfield the Cat hating Monday the 13th.

Stay tuned for two more holidays this weekend, the first celebration of the fake holiday Norther on Sunday and Martin Luther King Day on Monday.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

National monuments, more of Obama's environmental legacy


There's more to President Obama's environmental record than his actions on climate, energy, and oceans.  The outgoing President has also protected a lot of federal lands as national monuments.  His most recent actions created two of them in Nevada and Utah.  Newsy has the story in Obama declares more land for national monuments.

President Obama officially created the Gold Butte National Monument and the Bears Ears National Monument.
Just as I was in southern California for the Rose Parade, I was in Utah when this news broke and the local media covered the story intently.  KSL provides an example in Fight on over Bears Ears monument in Utah.

Utah's top leaders are seething over President Barack Obama's proclamation Wednesday to designate 1.35 million acres in southeast Utah as the Bears Ears National Monument, vowing to do everything they can to undo the presidential action. Andrew Adams reports.
I'm with the art store owner, both that the monument will be a good thing and that it will last.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

President Obama reflects on his environmental record


Last night, President Obama gave his farewell address to the nation.  I could embed the video, but I decided to post two other videos from the outgoing administration that emphasize the issue I most care about, the environment.  First, The Record: President Obama on Climate and Energy.


This video shows that Obama's mentions of energy and climate in the 2014 State of the Union Address reflected a sincere interest.  I'd like to think his administration made a lasting impact in these fields.

Obama also showed his concern for the environment in Protecting Our Planet Means Protecting Our Ocean, which describes the President's visit to Midway Island mentioned in CNN visits Midway Island to promote documentary on plastic pollution.

President Obama designated the first-ever marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, 4,913 square miles off the coast of New England. "It’s been said that we don’t inherit the Earth from our parents so much as we borrow it from our children."
Thank you, Mr. President, for your efforts on behalf of a sustainable future.